Army Sgt. Jonathan J. Richardson
Died March 09, 2010 serving during Operation Enduring Freedom
24, of Bald Knob, Ark.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.; died March 9 in Khowst province, Afghanistan, from wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit using small-arms, indirect and rocket-propelled grenade fires. Also killed was Pfc. Jason M. Kropat.
(The following was taken from www.baxterbulletin.com of March 13, 2010) A soldier killed Tuesday in a bomb and gunfire attack on the U.S.-Afghan base in Khost was the grandson of Ken and Edna Martin of Mountain Home — 24-year-old Sgt. Jonathan J. Richardson of Bald Knob.
The Martins were to travel to Springdale today to connect with relatives in preparation for funeral services probably next week.
Mrs. Martin said relatives telephoned with news of the death Tuesday soon after the attack. She said she was especially close to her grandson who lived with her for most of a year when he was a 3-year-old while the family was relocating to the U.S. from South Korea where his parents worked in civil service.
"We became very close and we remained close from then on," Mrs. Martin said.
Mr. Martin said except for the occasional "B" in subject matter that didn't interest him, his stepgrandson was an "A" student in high school. He also excelled at football.
"He was unsure of what he wanted to do when he graduated high school. He could have gone to college and done anything he wanted. But he talked to a recruiter and joined," Mrs. Martin said.
"He made sergeant in less than four years," Mr. Martin said.
Mrs. Martin said she and her grandson's wife, Rachel, have something in common in the sudden loss of a spouse. Her first husband, Jerry J. Cobb, was killed in an armed robbery of the couple's business in Springdale in 1974.
"I know what she's going through," Mrs. Martin said. "You know what's happened, but you just can't get your mind around it."
Mr. Martin called the sergeant's wife "Sweet Rachel."
"They loved each other so much. It was no puppy love. They were deeply, genuinely in love," he said.
The Martins visited the Richardsons last year just after they purchased their first home in Clarkville, Tenn. Sgt. Richardson was stationed at nearby Fort Campbell, Ky.
The Department of Defense said Richardson and another soldier killed in the attack — PFC. Jason M. Kropat, 25, of White Lake, N.Y. — were both assigned to C Company, 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division.
The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the bombing that killed the two and wounded a number of others, the Department of Defense said.
Richardson was a fire support specialist who joined the Army in June 2006 and was stationed in Fort Campbell in January 2007. He is survived by his wife, Rachel Richardson, of Clarksville, Tenn.; mother, Sharon Dunigan, of Bridgeport, W.V.; and father, Jeffery Richardson, of Germany.
Kropat was an infantryman who joined the Army in November 2008 and arrived at Fort Campbell in March 2009. Kropat is survived by his parents, Kathleen and Glenn Kropat of Fredericksburg, Texas.
Richardson's earned awards and decorations include Army Commendation Medal; Army Good Conduct Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Iraq Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Noncommissioned Officers Professional Development Ribbon; Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Ribbon; and Weapons Qualification, M4, expert.